American Girl Workshop, Beekley Library, New Hartford, CT

Children's Art Workshop - Chris Duke

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April 18, 2014

I spent a pleasing morning at the Beekley Library in New Hartford, CT talking to children about illustrations I did for a series of American Girl books. Many of my original drawings were on display.

I briefly explained the illustration process - finding people (usually friends and family) to model, rigging up costumes, improvising sets and props, taking hundreds of photos, and then integrating my best photo reference into the final art. My American Girl Summer in the City illustration was a perfect example. This complex scene (top center of image) shows a town square filled with all sorts of people engaged in separate activities - a bit like a page from Where’s Waldo?

Later on, I did some drawings with the children. They eagerly depicted new age princesses – paragon women infused with high-tech features for increased strength and agility. Though they were quite young for professional pointers, I encouraged them to draw a wide range of subjects and keep practicing. I also encouraged their parents to use cardboard portfolios to keep these imaginative creations intact for years to come.

You can see more of my book illustration at the link below.